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Have Unions Turned the Corner? New Evidence on Recent Trends in Union Recognition in UK Firms


  • Jo Blanden
  • Stephen Machin
  • John Van Reenen


This paper reports results from a recent survey conducted on unionization in over 650 firms in the private sector in the UK. The survey shows that since 1997 there has been a slight fall in derecognition, but a relatively large increase in union recognition. This increase in new recognition agreements is consistent with the idea that the incoming Labour government had a positive effect on the ability of unions to gain recognition, either through the 1999 legislation or more indirectly through changing the political climate. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/London School of Economics 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Have Unions Turned the Corner? New Evidence on Recent Trends in Union Recognition in UK Firms," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 169-190, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:169-190

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sue Fernie & David Metcalf, 2005. "Trade Unions: Resurgence or Demise?," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 178, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2016. "Men, Women and Unions," IZA Discussion Papers 10438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Odd Rune Straume, 2012. "Employment Protection Versus Flexicurity: On Technology Adoption in Unionised Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 177-199, March.
    3. repec:aia:aiaswp:wp50 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Salvatori, Andrea, 2012. "Union threat and non-union employment: A natural experiment on the use of temporary employment in British firms," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 944-956.
    5. Lommerud, Kjell Erik & Straume, Odd Rune, 2007. "Technology resistance and globalisation with trade unions: the choice between employment protection and flexicurity," Working Papers in Economics 13/07, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    6. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2012. "Union Decline in Britain: Is Chauvinism Also to Blame?," IZA Discussion Papers 6536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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